To date: 7,342 km
To go: 458 km …. this is starting to seem impossible low…
We started with a long ride before breakfast – trying to get 20-30km under our belt before our first long break. I ate a bar along the way to keep the hunger at bay. We spent some time riding close to each other, using the other person as a wind block. I am not very good at this – riding close behind someone freaks me out a bit and I prefer to leisurely look around at my surroundings rather than stare at the tire in front of me. But we kept it up long enough for me to appreciate the benefits at least. Eventually Alex pulled ahead, and shortly later I got a flat tire. At this point I was starting to get cranky – not so much hunger as craving coffee. The worst time for a flat.
My back tire is getting paper thin at this point and I am starting to worry I will not find a bike shop to replace it before it gives out completely. I find the culprit – a tiny piece of glass has worked its way through the rubber and pierced the tube. I scan the rest of the tire and take out any small pointy bits that have made a home there. I have the tire back on and repacked my bike by the time I see Alex coming back to see what happened to me. He informs me we are minutes from a restaurant and my heart soars with joy.
Breakfast!! Coffee!! Best part of the day.
Today was a long day of riding. The most beautiful part was Bonaventure – coming into the town was just spectacular – water on both sides of me and the town’s lights twinkling in the dusk. If Alex and I had not planned to meet farther up along the road, I would have stopped here for the night. It was a flat, lovely ride along the water to Caplan. I listened to music in one ear and enjoyed the slight thrill of pushing myself on despite the darkness descending. It began to rain as I neared Caplan and I was happy to see Alex waiting for me – having a beer on the side of the road. I left him to enjoy his drink and searched out a restaurant for dinner.
Found the only place open in town and chatted to a group at the table behind me. They had seen cyclists loaded down like me before and always thought them a curiosity. I was the first one they had ever talked to and I think they got a kick out of pretty much everything I said. When Alex cruised up, parking his bike and jumping off it all in one quick motion, they all oohed and aahed over his skills – and asked me how on earth I had managed to arrive here first…. I admitted that not all was that it seems – Alex is indeed always faster than me.
After dinner we set out to find a place to camp and settled on the parking lot of a car dealership. Tomorrow would be Sunday so they would not be open – we were safe to set up behind a big cargo container at the back of the lot. I totally freaked us out by hearing something making noises on the inside of the crate and for awhile we both imagined someone was living in there….. Alex pounded hard on the crate to be sure – and I jumped clear through the roof (if there was a roof at this point). A little warning would have been nice.